The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida has championed a transformative call for a broadband revolution.
Dr. Aminu Maida made this call during a thought-provoking keynote address centered on “Broadband Availability and Potentials of Data Revolution” at the 13th Annual Nigeria ICT Impact CEO Forum/Africa Digital Award held at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos.
In his address, Dr. Maida who was represented by the Director, Public Affairs of NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka highlighted the pivotal role of broadband connectivity in revolutionizing Nigeria’s digital landscape and stimulating economic growth. He emphasized the transformative power of high-speed internet access, presenting it as a catalyst for progress and development across various sectors.
Referencing studies by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Dr. Maida underscored the direct correlation between broadband access and a country’s economic growth. He stressed that nations with extensive broadband networks tend to exhibit higher GDP per capita, highlighting broadband access as a critical economic indicator.
Quoting the ITU Global Connectivity Report 2022, Dr. Maida revealed that despite significant progress, a considerable fraction of the global population remains offline. He also noted disparities in internet access between urban and rural areas in Nigeria and other African countries, citing challenges like high deployment costs and low user demand as contributing factors.
Discussing the surge in data consumption triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Maida highlighted the rapid shift towards digital services and online activities. He acknowledged the increased demand for digital literacy as individuals and businesses adapted to an online-centric environment.
As the regulator of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry, Dr. Maida outlined the NCC’s efforts in ensuring incremental broadband deployment and addressing digital gaps exacerbated by the pandemic. He emphasized the significance of policy frameworks like the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 in fostering wider broadband coverage despite constraints like limited access, funding, and inadequate infrastructure.
Aligning with the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy’s strategic plan, Dr. Maida outlined key objectives aimed at boosting broadband penetration, infrastructure expansion, and enhancing digital literacy. These targets include extensive fiber optic cable laying, population coverage, broadband investment increase, and narrowing the rural-urban digital gap.
In conclusion, Dr. Maida reiterated the NCC’s commitment to supporting the Ministry’s strategic blueprint and the administration’s agenda for a digital transformation that fosters economic empowerment and inclusivity. He urged stakeholders to collaborate in building robust broadband infrastructure to harness the potential of the data revolution for Nigeria’s collective prosperity.
Dr. Maida’s keynote address at the CEO Forum emphasized the critical importance of broadband connectivity and laid out a strategic roadmap for Nigeria’s digital evolution, rallying stakeholders to join hands in realizing the nation’s digital potential.